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Addressing Homelessness

The City of Tustin is committed to addressing the homelessness crises affecting our community. 

Recently, concerned citizens have shared their concerns with staff and our City Council. As such, the City Council discussed this important issue at the July 18, 2017 City Council Meeting. 

A recorded video of the meeting, the staff agenda report as well as a PowerPoint presentation, can be found here. 

To date, Tustin has provided the following direct and indirect support to end homelessness:

Community Development  Department

The Community Development Department designates Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to provide direct financial assistance to agencies assisting the homeless population. These agencies include Mercy House Emergency Shelter, Mary’s Shelter, Human Options Transitional Housing, Olive Crest Transitional Housing, and Goodwill of Orange County. The amount of grant funding provided is approximately $27,000. Additional staff funding to administer the CDBG program and homeless services providers is approximately $10,000.00.

Police Department

Approximately 50 percent of the two (2) Tustin Police Department Community Impact Officers {CIOs) salaries are spent on homelessness issues. This is a cost of approximately
$100,000.00 annually, at minimum, for the two (2) CIOs time spent on homelessness. Even while working with the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team, the CIOs have many calls that involve the homeless. This minimum cost is not including calls for service by the patrol officers on calls pertaining to homeless individuals.

Orange County Rescue Mission 

In 2015, the Tustin City Council unanimously approved the sale of 2 fourplexes to the Orange County Rescue Mission to house homeless veterans.

The overhauled fourplexes can house up to 32 veterans and their families.


Efforts in Tustin Legacy

With the closure of the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Tustin, the Homeless Assistance Plan for MCAS Tustin was adopted to address homelessness. The adopted Plan  provides sites & designated land uses to accommodate identified homeless needs. To date, the following have been provided at Tustin Legacy:

  • An approximate 5- acre transitional/emergency shelter site was set-aside for accommodation of the homeless at MCAS Tustin. The site was conveyed to the Orange County Rescue Mission at no cost and facilitated the construction of the Village of Hope, a transitional/emergency shelter facility, without the need of a discretionary approval. During 2016, the Village of Hope was authorized by the City of Tustin to increase their bed count from 192 to 387. This equates to 195 additional beds for the Village of Hope to provide for the homeless population.
  • A four (4) acre site was recommended by the City of Tustin and deeded directly by the Department of Navy at no cost to the Orange County Social Services Agency for the development of an abused and neglected children and emancipated youth facility with a 90 bed capacity. The Tustin Family Campus has been up and running for several years.
  • A total of 50 transitional housing units were originally included in the Base Reuse Plan. Based on further negotiations with non-profit homeless providers, a total of 32 brand new transitional housing units have been constructed and conveyed at no cost to non-profit homeless providers including the Salvation Army, Families Forward, Human Options and Orange Coast Interfaith Shelter.
  • The City also facilitated the purchase of a 16 unit transitional housing facility in Buena Park to be operated by the Salvation Army.

  

Additional Efforts 

The City participated in the QC Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness Implementation Group Community Forums. City staff were engaged in the discussion, evaluation, and provided input to the community forums.

The City Council has adopted numerous Housing Element policies and programs to accommodate homeless needs.

The City Council has approved and continues to provide grants to assist homeless providers.   Within the last five years, the City has provided  a total of $106,179 to homeless providers such as Laurel's House, Mercy Housing, Olive Crest, Human Option, Families Forward, etc.

Tustin has provided support and Certification for Consistency with the City's Consolidated Plan for Orange County, QC Partnership, Volunteer Center of OC, Illumination Foundation, and Families Forward Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Grant applications. In addition, Tustin has provided Certification for Consistency for Orange County Housing Authority Public Housing Plan.

The City participates and partners with the Orange County Section 8 voucher program by providing outreach, computer and fax access, links on City's website.  City staff is also trained to provide technical assistance as needed.

The City's Tustin Family Youth Center provides supportive services such as free daycare, food distribution, computer classes, ESL classes, etc. to the very low income families at either no cost or nominal costs.

The City of Tustin is proud to participate in the Countywide Commission to End Homelessness which goals are as follow:

  •  Facilitate understanding between cities and the Commission regarding homeless issues. Issues are to be communicated throughout Orange County.
  • Act as a "clearinghouse" to share information on activities regarding homelessness
  • Develop a standard set of definitions for shelters and affordable housing, possibly a "model ordinance" 
  • Compose regional picture of steps to be taken, identify shelters and affordable housing, etc.